Arizona freshman guard Brandon Williams tied teammate Brandon Randolph with a game-high 21 points — and Williams is still without a turnover in his first three college games — as the Wildcats routed UTEP 79-46 in a non-conference game Wednesday night in Tucson.
Williams has logged 82 minutes in Arizona’s 3-0 start and has 14 assists without a turnover. The Wildcats had only six turnovers against the Miners (1-2). UTEP committed 21 turnovers. Arizona had a 15-2 points-off-turnovers advantage.
Williams had only one assist against UTEP after recording eight against Cal Poly on Sunday. He became the first Arizona freshman to have eight assists with no turnovers in a game since Khalid Reeves in 1990.
Arizona has won 50 straight non-conference games at home. The Wildcats’ last non-conference home loss was in 2011 to San Diego State when the Aztecs outlasted Arizona 61-57.
Duke transfer Chase Jeter added 15 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots for the Wildcats.
UTEP was led by Paul Thomas’ 14 points and six rebounds, but his six turnovers matched Arizona as a team. Efe Odigie had a double-double (13 points and 11 rebounds) for the Miners.
UTEP shot 33.3 percent from the field while Arizona shot 49.2 percent despite making only 4 of 16 shots from 3-point range.
The Wildcats went inside often in the second half to pull away, making 14 of 21 (66.7 percent) of their shots inside the paint.
Arizona never trailed after scoring the game’s first eight points. The Wildcats took their biggest lead of the first half, an 11-point margin at 34-23, when Williams made a jumper in the lane with 46 seconds left.
After UTEP trimmed the lead to 34-28 with 19:19 left in the second half, the Wildcats went on a 10-2 run to take control of the game with a 44-30 lead with 16:10 remaining.
The Miners went without a field goal for four minutes and 26 seconds in that stretch.
Arizona next plays in the Maui Invitational beginning Monday against Iowa State.
UTEP will host Eastern New Mexico on Monday.
—Field Level Media